Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Criminal Justice Odds Being Beat In New Bedford, MA

In New Bedford, Massachusetts, what appears to be a man walking with a figurative “Please Lock Me Up Forever” sign on his back is beating incredible odds.

The man, Allen Thurston, 36, is a convicted level 3 sex offender. After he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, he was arraigned yesterday in New Bedford District Court on an assault and battery charge.

The prosecutor pressed the court to revoke Thurston’s bail; the judge would not do so. Police, naturally, are said to be “concerned” as to why his bail was set so low. Their reasons seem logical enough:

1. He has a very lengthy criminal record;

2. He was of convicted of rape of a child by force in Brocton several years ago;

3. He failed to register as a sex offender in 2004, for which he was arrested and served 30 days; and
4. He failed to register again in 2005 and was arrested by Fall River Police. He served six months in the house of correction.

To many, this would be enough. Not for Mr. Thurston, though. Last week, he was he was involved in the domestic assault and battery. He was arraigned and released on personal recognizance. Then, this past Wednesday, when he was supposed to register as a sex offender again…he failed to do so again.

He was spotted by New Bedford Police and became involved in a foot chase. He struggled with police and then was arrested.

Mr. Thurston is currently being held on $1000 bail.

SAM’S TAKE:

It may be that the New Bedford branch of Massachusetts Criminal Justice appreciates Mr. Thurston’s talent for consistency. He is certainly beating the odds. However, some of Mr. Thurston’s seemingly good fortune can be explained by the reason for bail.

The reason for bail is to ensure that the defendant shows up to court to answer the charges against him or her. In this case, Mr. Thurston apparently has a very lively criminal record. However, if he is still being released on relatively low bail, I would imagine he has the habit of showing up for court. As discussed yesterday, this is extremely important when in a position to argue for low bail.

It is noteworthy, however, that at the time of the article, he was still being held on this bail. While he is certainly fortunate not to be held without bail, the $1000 set seems to, at least, be delaying his return to the streets.

As for the previous charges for which Mr. Thurston served time…well, it appears to be just that. He already served his sentences. There is no indication that there is an ongoing probation or parole status in which he is facing revocation.

We do not know the facts behind the alleged domestic assault and battery. I can tell you from experience that there are many reasons for which the court might find the allegations less than compelling…or believable. We do know, however, that despite his record, Mr. Thurston still enjoys the presumption of innocence.

This all being said, the court is entitled to hold a defendant without bail if he is arrested while out on bail. In this case, Mr. Thurston seems to be in the glow of some guardian angel. While he us out on bail, he has now been arrested of a few new crimes. Failing to register (let alone for the third time) is a crime. Resisting arrest is a crime. Assault and battery on a police officer is a crime.

Yet, Mr. Thurston is out to enjoy another day.

We do not know all the facts and circumstances of his matters. Maybe he has a great attorney. Maybe he is simply misunderstood. Maybe he is someone who should be playing the lottery.

In any event, if you are facing any of the problems faced by Mr. Thurston, I would suggest you not expect to follow in his footsteps. Whatever the reason, he is certainly beating the odds. Get an experienced lawyer, be careful and treat the system seriously.

It is almost certain to treat you seriously.

The full article of this story can be found at
http://www3.whdh.com/news/articles/local/BO87847/

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